“On the heels of October’s second best ever Class 8 order month, November follows with the fifth-best month on the all-time list,” said Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president & senior analyst.
“The 41,000 North American\A Class 8 net orders in November represent the convergence of a number of trends that continue to drive healthy order activity,” he continued.
Vieth said these include “rising economic activity, pent-up demand, strong new equipment fuel economy gains, and most importantly, rising freight rates, which bolster carrier profitability.”
FTR said that its preliminary data puts November North American Class 8 truck net orders at 40,560 units, which it said “indicated an extremely strong truck market.
According to FTR, last month was the second consecutive month Class 8 sales rose above the 40,000 level. The firm also stated that Class 8 orders have “totaled an impressive 363,000 in the last 12-month period.”
“The rare back-to-back 40,000 unit months in October and November is a result of fleets placing orders into the middle of 2015 to secure build slots due to tight production capacity,” remarked Don Ake, FTR’s vice president of Commercial Vehicles.
“Confidence in the economy and positive factors in the trucking sector are motivating fleets to place orders very early in this cycle,” he continued.
Ake pointed out that “trucking capacity remains tight and fleets continue to need more trucks.” However, he noted that “orders may be weaker at the beginning of 2015, since some fleets have half of their expected 2015 requirements already in the backlog.”
As for medium-duty activity last month, ACT’s Vieth termed November’s preliminary 17,500 North American Classes 5-7 net orders as “somewhat of a letdown following on the heels of a strong three-month period of order placement.
“November’s medium-duty orders were down 4% compared to last November and fell 22% below October’s strong intake,” he explained. “Through year-to-date, Classes 5-7 net orders have been booked at a 218,400-unit annual rate.”